By Lauren Williams
8:01 PM PST, January 9, 2013
The highest tides of the month are expected to roll in this week, but flooding is unlikely, Newport Beach city officials said Wednesday.
Tides are expected to reach 6.9 feet at 7:23 a.m. Thursday, 7 feet at 8:10 a.m. Friday and 6.8 feet at 8:55 a.m. Saturday, according to city spokeswoman Tara Finnigan.
The water will be about half a foot above the norm, but Newport should remain free of flooding unless there is a deluge of rain accompanying the tides, Finnigan said.
If showers cause flooding, the city's Municipal Operations Department will set up pumping operations, she said.
The National Weather Service predicts rain before 10 a.m. Thursday and sunny skies the rest of the week.
Tides are expected to be the highest this month, according to Heidi Nutters, the coastal training program coordinator at the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and one of the lead statewide organizers of the California King Tides Initiative.
The gravitational alignment of the sun, moon and earth create so-called king tides, and winter months see more dramatic tides with storms around this time of year, Nutters said.
The California King Tides Initiative encourages those who spot these high tides to snap photos and share them with their organization, especially areas that experience flooding, because doing so will help them predict what normal tides will look like in 50 or 100 years with rising sea levels, Nutters said.